Australian WorldSBK – Her story: Meet Tayla Relph

Early Life and Introduction to Motorcycling

Tayla Relph’s passion for motorcycling began at an early age. At just two and a half years old, she attended a Crusty Demons motorcycle show, where she was captivated by the thrilling stunts. Her enthusiasm led her to receive her first bike, a PeeWee 50, for Christmas, shortly before her third birthday. By her birthday on January 7th, she was already riding with a big smile on her face.

First Steps in Racing

Tayla started racing motocross at six years old but quickly transitioned to road racing by the age of ten. Her first road race came at eleven, marking the beginning of her competitive journey. Despite the lack of a family background in racing, Tayla’s determination and love for the sport drove her to excel.

Racing Career and Achievements

Throughout her career, Tayla has competed against male riders due to the lack of female competitors in Australia. Her notable achievements include:

2014: Took an overall round win on her first Australian Championship appearance and finished second in the Moto3 class.

2016: Became the first female to win a race in the Australian Championship, ultimately securing two wins in the Moto3 category and finishing third overall.

2018: Finished second in a race against 27 males in the Australian Supersport 300 Championship.

Tayla has also raced internationally in New Zealand and India and participated in the Red Bull Rookie Selection events in 2012 and 2013.

Challenges and Inspiration

Growing up, Tayla faced significant challenges, including bullying in an all-girls school due to her favourite sport. Despite these obstacles, her supportive family and unwavering determination kept her focused on her goals. Tayla aspires to be a role model for young girls in motorsport, demonstrating that women can excel in the sport.

Current Pursuits and Future Goals

Tayla now competes in WorldWCR, aiming to fight for podium finishes and ultimately become a World Champion. She is also dedicated to her businesses, TAYCO Creative and South West Track Days, and serves as the National Press Officer for the Australian WorldSBK Rounds at Phillip Island Circuit.

Personal Life and Interests

Outside of racing, Tayla is passionate about her work as it involves her further in motorsport through content creation, photography, and writing motorsport editorials. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism with minors in Criminology & Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Psychology. Tayla’s favourite motorcycle racer is Jorge Martin, and she is inspired by female athlete Maria Herrera.

Tayla says…

On her introduction to motorcycling: “I was 2.5 years old and went to a motorcycle show (Crusty Demons) where they do backflips on motorcycles, and I threw a tantrum on the floor and demanded a motorbike for Christmas!”

On her racing career: “In Australia, there are not enough women to have our own class, so I have raced against the males my whole career. In 2016, I became the first ever Female to win a race in the Australian Championship.”

On representing her country: “I am so proud that I can now stand tall, on the world stage, and be that positive female role model to the younger generation and be the role model that I wish I had when I was 10 years old.”

On her message to young female riders: “My words to them would be to simply believe in yourself and surround yourself with a positive support group who will bring you up!”

Tayla tells… of the Garry McCoy connection

“I wasn’t very good at motocross and sort of slowly started losing the passion when I was maybe about eight or nine. And Dad luckily knew someone who was into Supermotard, and so he said, why don’t you put Tayla on a little go-kart track and chuck some slicks on my KTM 65 that I had at the time… I loved it and fell in love with road racing very quickly! I learnt very quickly. Obviously, it was a little bit harder because I didn’t have any family background history in motorsports, so Dad was learning just as much as I was. But I was very lucky that I had the support from Garry McCoy, who was riding for our local club and obviously he’s a Queenslander as well. And yeah, he came to one of our road race meets and just saw me riding and knew that I had the talent to do it. I was very, very fast, but that was because I had no fear. I didn’t really know about ‘how’ to go fast, or how to actually ride a motorbike safely. All I knew was that I could just go fast down the straight and pin it through the corners. So, it was good having Garry on my side and backing me. We spent hours upon hours, days upon days, doing one-on-one coaching together. I wish I knew back then how significant that coaching was, but as a little 10, 11-year-old, it was just to me, I just saw this guy on YouTube and he was pretty cool doing some pretty cool things and that was really all I knew. But yeah, he was major for me, he gave me all of his race leathers to use myself, he gave me one of his race helmets, luckily, we’re the same size. So, for, gosh, about three years of my Australian Superbike career, I was kitted out in full Garry McCoy leathers, helmets, everything. And again, I didn’t know the significance of it!”